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Araceli Arbon
Breakfast with Makenzie, and some good news
Mon Jul 31, 2017 08:37

Araceli was not an optimist. She had always been an anxious person, prone to worrying how things might go wrong, and life had done little to persuade her that this was not a totally pragmatic attitude to have. And yet, she was feeling positive. Certainly more so than she had done at any other point this year. It felt fragile, to be sure. A delicate glass-spun feeling, that could be shattered in an instant if her father chose to bring down the iron fist with which he ruled their family, but as - for once -the things they wanted aligned, she could not foresee him doing this. The source of her improved outlook had been the conversation she had overheard between Duncan and her sister during Midterm, a conversation which seemed to suggest he really was able to let the past go and to be with her as she was. He had renounced his interest in Delphine and asserted one in her. He didn't know that was what he had done, of course, but that was how it felt to her, and that conversation had provided the line she needed drawing under the time he had spent unwittingly courting her sister instead of her. They had been writing since, and though this was not new in itself, she felt more connected through the letters that they now exchanged. Previously, it had been a ritual completed for form's sake, but lacking any meaningful emotion from her. Now, she dared to start feeling invested in the process - to look forward to Duncan's letters, and to pen genuinely felt replies.

The real game changer though arrived one morning towards the end of term. Araceli was having breakfast with Makenzie when she recognised her family's owl swooping in. For a second, she felt her heart in her throat, until she recognised that it was Delphine’s writing. This usually indicated more pleasant correspondence but she had no idea just how much so until she opened the letter and began reading. As she did so, her eyes widened with each passing paragraph. At the end of the letter,she tried to find the words to explain it to her friend, but finding that they failed her, she merely slid the parchment over for the other girl to read.

Dearest Araceli,

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you are feeling well prepared for your exams. I know you will do brilliantly, just believe in yourself.

I have good news. As you know, I have been searching for a job and I am pleased to report that I have been successful at last. Through Effie's connections to his sister, I met with Mr. Barnabus Wolseithcrafte, who is a rising star at the law firm Penderghast’s (and a thoroughly charming young man). They are in search of a French speaking legal secretary - or should I say 'were in search' as they have now found me. I owe immense thanks to Mr. and Miss Wolseithcrafte who have really been very kind in helping me secure this post.

There is another element to all of this which I had not yet told you, for fear that I would not succeed in my endeavour and thus disappoint you. I hope you will forgive me for not telling you, but I did not wish to give you false hope. I have father’s permission to move out. Whilst Floo makes it unnecessary for me to live nearer my work, he believes that the excuse of wishing to integrate more closely into the Chicago society to which I will now belong will pass as an acceptable reason, although my true motives are quite different; whilst you are well on track to be absorbed into quite another circle, I would like for you to come and live with me until such time as those happy events that shall secure your future should come to pass. At any hint of disapproval, we would have to return home, but I feel having each other's presence lends more respectability than me simply living alone would do. I will meet you off the Chicago wagon at the end of term.

Please send my love to Makenzie,and good wishes for her exams too, and let her know that she is very welcome as a visitor to our house.

With strongest affection,

"I don't have to go back," she managed to whisper, her voice low partly through the sheer disbelief of what she was saying, and partly because she always spoke quietly when sharing things about her less than ideal home life - it didn't do to air dirty laundry in public. A large smile broke across her features as she repeated, still quietly but more certainly. "I don't have to go back."

    • Hooray, version 2Makenzie Newell, Fri Aug 11 17:20
      BIC: I'm bad at reading and didn't see that Araceli had already given Makenzie the letter, so I'm just reposting the bulk of the post with a more apt conclusion. Sorry for any confusion! BIC: A lot... more
    • Hooray!Makenzie Newell, Thu Aug 10 16:11
      A lot of people probably got excited as the school year wound down, making plans for beach vacations and rationing their newfound time which school would no longer occupy. But as the year went on,... more
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